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Making Sense of the New Middle East: The Dynamics and their Implications for US Interests

Meghan O’Sullivan, the Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, will present the John W. Pope Lecture at North Carolina State University. Her talk is titled “Making Sense of the New Middle East: The Dynamics and Their Implications for US Interests.” The lecture will be held on Tuesday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m. in 232-A Withers Hall, on the NC State University main campus. The event is free and open to the public.

O’Sullivan’s expertise includes the geopolitics of energy, decision making in foreign policy, nation-building, counterinsurgency, and the Middle East. Between 2004 and 2007, she was special assistant to President George W. Bush and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan during the last two years of this tenure. She spent two years in Iraq, most recently in the fall of 2008 to help conclude the security agreement and strategic framework agreement between the United States and Iraq.

Prior to this, O’Sullivan was senior director for strategic planning and Southwest Asia in the NSC; political advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority administrator and deputy director for governance in Baghdad; chief advisor to the presidential envoy to the Northern Ireland peace process; and a fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Her publications include Shrewd Sanctions: Statecraft and State Sponsors of Terrorism (2003).

Dr. O’Sullivan is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a consultant to the National Intelligence Council, and a strategic advisor to John Hess, the Chairman and CEO of Hess Corporation, an American independent oil and gas company.

She is also a foreign affairs columnist for Bloomberg View, a director on the board of TechnoServe, a nonprofit organization bringing business solutions to help alleviate poverty, as well as a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and the Aspen Strategy Group. She is also an advisor to Mitt Romney, a 2012 candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. president.

O’Sullivan has been awarded the Defense Department’s highest honor for civilians, the Distinguished Public Service Medal, and three times been awarded the State Department’s Superior Honor Award. In 2008, Esquire Magazine named her one of the most influential people of the century.

She holds a doctorate in Politics and a master’s in Economics from Oxford University and a B.A. from Georgetown University.

The John W. Pope Lecture Series is hosted by North Carolina State University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Poole College of Management to encourage dialogue on topics of political and economic interest. This lecture series is supported by a grant from the John W. Pope Foundation. The lecture series is part of a program funded by a grant from the John W. Pope Foundation to support education and research in public policy and economics in the two colleges at NC State.

“Quality interaction with undergraduate students is a key component of the Pope Lecture Series,” says Dr. Andy Taylor, professor of Political Science at NC State. “Dr. O’Sullivan will offer a public lecture, but will also meet with our students.”

Driving and parking directions: Withers Hall is located at 101 Lampe Drive on NC State’s north campus, between Ricks and Daniels Halls. Parking is available in the North Hall Parking Lot on Hillsborough Street, along Hillsborough Street, or in the Cates Avenue Parking Deck beside Reynolds Coliseum.